MATCH PREVIEW – Harlequins v Sale Sharks

Sale Sharks travel to the Stoop to face Harlequins in Round 15 of the Gallagher Premiership (KO 1pm, LIVE on BT Sport)


Alex Sanderson has confirmed that Manu Tuilagi and Faf de Klerk are fit and available for selection as his squad prepare to face third-placed Harlequins in the Gallagher Premiership this Sunday.

Tuilagi suffered a grade three hamstring tear on international duty against South Africa last November, whilst de Klerk has been out since October following surgery on an injured hip.

Regarding Tuilagi, the Sharks DoR said: “It’s a very definite maybe for this weekend I have to say. He has been out there the last two weeks. This week he has trained really well, looked sharp, looked good, happy. Yes, he is up for selection. Fit.”

He added: “Faf is also up for selection, buzzing around, a little ball of blonde energy around the training ground. He is in good form.”

De Klerk’s recovery comes weeks ahead of his projected return at the end of February.

Alex said: “I got told two weeks on Sunday and four weeks on Monday – that was just the medical team wanting a pat on the back in front of the coaches, so I think it is two or three weeks ahead of schedule.”

After an inspiring victory against league leaders Leicester Tigers last weekend, Sharks will certainly fancy themselves against the reigning champions as they seek their first away victory in the Gallagher Premiership since May last year.

When the sides met earlier this season, it was Sharks who were victorious, a double from Raffi Quirke sealing 28-22 victory at the AJ Bell Stadium. Since then, a seven game winning run for Quins in all competitions was finally ended against Bath last Friday, the 12th-placed side orchestrating a 21-17 home victory having been behind at half-time.

Of the last thirteen meetings between Sharks and Quins in the Premiership, all have been won by the home side on the day.

Previous meetings:

19 Oct 2021 – Sale Sharks 28 Harlequins 22

04 Jun 2021 – Sale Sharks 45 Harlequins 12

20 Feb 2021 – Harlequins 24 Sale Sharks 12

21 Sep 2020 (Premiership Rugby Cup Final) – Sale Sharks 27 Harlequins 19

14 Aug 2020 – Harlequins 16 Sale Sharks 10

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